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Mastercard connects card expiry date to wildlife extinction

Highlighting the stark plight of critically endangered species, a new set of Mastercard gift cards features four of them. Like every credit and debit card, the cards are printed with their expiry dates. But time won't just run out for the cards — the Sunda pangolin, African forest elephant, Peruvian yellow-tailed woolly monkey and black-and-white ruffed lemur may have gone extinct by the time a card has expired.

Trend Bite

Rapid habitat loss and wildlife extinction are directly linked to consumption habits in the rest of the world. While Mastercard is promoting awareness of the critical danger that 2,000 species are in, their cards may well be used to pay for products connected to the demise of those creatures. Next step, ideally? An app that alerts card holders whenever they've made a purchase that contributes to endangering sensitive species. Gen Z is calling for that kind of action, with 90% believing companies must act to help social and environmental issues.

Innovation of the day

By linking a tangible expiry date to four very specific animals, Mastercard makes it abundantly clear how little time is left to save over 2,000 species on the critically endangered list, and how urgent it is to preserve their habitats before they're lost forever.

The cards were created in partnership with Conservation International, which will receive USD 1 for each card sold. Virtual cards are available now, and physical cards will follow this summer; they'll be made of eco-friendly materials to prevent expired cards from contributing to plastic pollution.